SEBRING – Claude Franklin, “C.F.,” Howerton passed away Thursday morning, July 16, at the age of 95. Howerton served as a Highlands County commissioner from 1982-1989.
“On behalf of the Board of County Commissioners, we are saddened by the news of the passing of Claude Howerton,” Ron Handley, chair of the Highlands County Board of County Commissioners, said.
“Claude was well respected within the community and I have known him my entire adult life. I knew him to be a kind and fair person and someone who always had the best interest of Highlands County at heart,” Handley said. “My condolences go to his family, his four children and his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”
Howerton was born April 16, 1925 in a house in Dover, and raised in Turkey Creek, outside of Plant City, where he graduated high school in 1943.
In his early life, he was a farmer and hauled citrus to markets. Howerton joined the U.S. Navy and was stationed in Pensacola during World War II.
After WWII, he began working for the Soil Conservation Service in January 1949 and moved to the Highlands County area. Howerton met his wife, Peggy O’Neal, in Highlands County and they were married in 1949. He retired from the Soil Conservation Service in 1982.
That same year Howerton was elected to the Highlands County Board of County Commissioners, where he represented District 2.
His family said Howerton loved being a civil servant and working with people. He was heavily involved with many significant projects during his tenure, including the selection and location of the current landfill site. He loved being able to serve the people of Highlands County and he always tried to be a fair person, family said. He also served on the Board of Directors for Glades Electric for several decades when power service was being expanded into areas of Highlands County.
After his time as a commissioner, Howerton continued working in the family sod farm and earth equipment businesses. In recent years, he also enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren and working in his large garden. He was very active in several fraternal organizations such as the Masons, Shriners and Elks Lodge.
At the time of his death, he was living in Lorida.
Howerton is the father of Charles Howerton, foreman at the Highlands County shell pit, and the grandfather of Highlands County Engineer and Solid Waste Director Clinton Howerton Jr.
Howerton is preceded in death by his parents, Linc and Mittie Linton Howerton, wife, Peggy, who passed away in 1999, and a brother Jesse. He is survived by sons Charles (Donna) Howerton, Clinton (Patty) Howerton Sr.; daughters, Cheryl (Heath) Howerton Morris and Cheri (Robby) Hornsby, 8 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.
A graveside service will be held at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida.
Highlands County government has lowered flags Thursday to half-staff in honor of C.F. Howerton. Flags will be at half-staff until his burial